The Scottish Green Party warmly welcomed today’s announcement that Forth Ports no longer plan to use the Firth of Forth to transfer millions of tonnes of crude oil between tankers.
The Greens have led the campaign on this issue since the summer of 2005 (1), and secured an agreement from the SNP to block the project during the negotiations which followed last May’s election.
Robin Harper MSP said:
“This is the best news possible for the environment in the Forth. I’m very proud of the leading and constructive part that the Scottish Green Party took in making sure ship to ship transfers would not happen. The continued safety of one of Europe’s principal areas of seabird conservation is now better assured
“Congratulations are also due to the former MSP Mark Ruskell and to East Lothian Green Abbie Marland for the huge contribution they made, to the principled and firm position taken by all the councils around the Forth, and to the conservation organisations who worked so hard. We also appreciate the way Scottish Ministers took this issue on after the election last year.
“This is a prime example of the power of community and political pressure in the new Scotland.”
Former Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Mark Ruskell, who led the campaign against the transfers in the Parliament, said:
“I am delighted that Forth Ports plc has finally sunk this proposal after three years of public and political campaigning that has galvanised communities in the Forth against the transfers. The big lesson is that powerful companies can be made accountable in modern Scotland, but only through a massive combined effort from the Scottish Parliament and communities.
“The changes brought in by the government, thanks to pressure from the Greens, put an irresistable pressure on Forth Ports to drop this proposal, yet Harbour Authorities remain amongst the worst examples of the failures of privatisation and the loss of public accountability. Further changes are needed, not just at Westminster but also through the SNP’s Marine Bill, to make sure that companies like Forth Ports do not get to make decisions like this that should be the responsibility of Parliament and the government.”